On the occasion of the European Day of Care programme, we talked to András Telek, the former national team football player of Ferencváros. The European Day of Care is a big collaborative partnership co-funded by the Erasmus+ Sport Programme of the European Union, an extension of an initiative launched in 2015. Our goal, together with other European multisport clubs, is to highlight the difficulties of transitioning from leading sports to civilian life and to share inspirational stories of those who have succeeded.
- You finished your football career young and relatively suddenly in 2002 at the age of 31. Was it a sudden decision?
- No, I felt at that time that I was not as fit as before. I wanted to remain in the memories of the fans like a top player, not a tired footballer.
- Have you had a Plan B for a post-football life?
- First I wanted to be a coach. After coaching at Fradi for six years, I decided that this was not my second career, so I started working in the insurance business.
- When did you realized your interest in the insurance industry, which is completely different from football?
- My dad was a salesman at one of the big insurance companies, he already said in the '90s that he thought it would be worthwhile to deal with it because I have a network of contacts as a well-known footballer. To be honest, while I was on the pitch, I didn't really care.
- Have you felt for a long time that your clients first realized you as a former player and coach?
- I still feel this when I meet most of my clients, in the first minutes we talk more about football, about the current matches. Most of my clients are related to sports.
- In your experience, what are the biggest challenges a former athlete faces in civilian life?
- There are competitors outside the sports field, and you can experience setbacks and successes just as you do in sports. The only difference is that we are no longer competing with our rivals at the hall, stadium, or racetrack, but at the table. You also have to get used to that.
- What do you think society could do to improve the social integration of retired top athletes?
- I think most athletes should think about their future well before they retire. It would be helpful for the player to take part in some sort of screening and counseling in a timely fashion to find out which profession he or she is best suited to after his or her sports career. Everybody has to admit that not everyone is able to be continuing, for example, Tamás Hajnal, who became the Sports Director of Ferencváros after his retirement, and we are many more who need to find calculations in a completely different field after our sports career.
- In your sports career, was the conscious future planning specific for the athletes?
- In my former clubs I didn't have anyone, I don't know that any of our competitors had dealt with it separately. In my opinion, this is not even the case today in Hungary or abroad. But this is a gap, and I think athletes need to be prepared for their after-sports career, their second career.
- You still work in the insurance industry and have your own company. Do you have a relationship with sports?
- I'm fortunate enough to be able to handle insurance for football, water polo and ice hockey thanks to the current management of Ferencváros, but I also get assignments from the Hungarian Football Federation, for example. I'm one of the lucky ones who is still involved in the football industry - even if I am not into the sport of being on the field, as a club manager or otherwise, I’m indirectly involved thanks to my job.
„I have never wanted to mix my sports background and the civilian life!”
István Kovács can be a great example for active athletes.
Nowadays he is working at the green-white club of Budapest as sports director.
On the occasion of the European Day of Care project, we talked to Péter Bácsi, former wrestler of FTC.
We talked to Norbert Madaras, the former water polo player of FTC.
We talked with the former wrestler of Ferencváros.
Ildikó Pádár loved every minute of his career, but she said that not only sports matters in life.